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Insecurity: Nigeria Must Defend Ideals of Modernity, Civilisation, Says Olawepo-Hashim

todayAugust 4, 2022

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

A former presidential candidate and stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim yesterday urged Nigerians to rise in unison and embrace the ideals of peace, modernity and civilisation as against the mission of some forces seeking to forcibly take over the nation.

The businessman counselled that the current national security concerns hovering over the nation were more pressing than the upcoming elections, calling on the authorities to tackle the lingering security challenges.

In a statement by his media office in Abuja , Olawepo-Hashim recalled that in the past two years, he had spoken on the nation’s security challenges and offered concrete suggestions on how to confront them, noting that all the suggestions had been ignored.

“Now is the time for patriots and statesmen and friends of Nigeria to rally and defend the Ideals of our republic, the ideals of peace and the ideals of modernity and civilisation,” he stated.

He advised that the political leadership of the country must not concentrate only on permutations concerning the 2023 elections to the detriment of urgent national security concerns.

 “We must have a nation first before election and our people must be alive and safe first to be able to vote.

 “The barbarians are at the gate of the capital, our republic is under threat, our tested ways of life: Pluralism, democracy, state secularism, are about to be imperiled. The clock is ticking, time is running out, the forces of evil are set to take the capital,” he averred.

Quoting a report by Beacon Consulting, a security risk management and intelligence consulting company, he pointed out that banditry and terrorist attacks had escalated across Nigeria, leading to the death of 7,222 persons and abduction of 3,823 others in the past seven months.

The statement noted that a breakdown in terms of geopolitical zones revealed that the North-east recorded 777 incidents, in which 2,052 individuals were killed and 344 kidnapped.

 In the North-west, he explained that 519 incidents occurred, leading to the death of 2,229 individuals, while 1,989 were abducted, adding that no fewer than 494 incidents were witnessed in the North-central, of which 1,748 residents lost their lives, and 950 were kidnapped.

He recalled that he had on the August 10, 2021, listed a six-point agenda as a pathway to security and peace in the country, some of which he said, included the establishment of a Defence Co-operation Agreement (DCA) with a friendly nation to halt the enemy’s advance as well as creating the framework for states and local governments to have their own police.

He added that on February 5, 2022, he had maintained that for the sacrifices and efforts of the country’s gallant soldiers not to be in vain, it was time for the nation to construct a new defence and security architecture to permanently destroy the seed of terror and uproot banditry and kidnapping across the country.

According to him, with all manners of armed groups now within two-hour drive to Abuja, the nation’s seat of power, from Niger and Kaduna, the government should not downplay the alarm raised by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno on the growing number of ISWAP fighters in the country.

Olawepo-Hashim equally noted that  in his April  statement, he had alerted  that if between 2015 and now, the government had allocated approximately N5.081 trillion for defence, including the appropriation of N4.669 trillion to the federal ministry of defence from 2016 to date and $1 billion for the purchase of military equipment, the template on the fight against terror required political responses that must tackle the underlining causes of the threats.

“Presently, it is an understatement to say we are at a turning point in our history when terrorist forces have technically surrounded our nation’s capital highlighting the severity of our national security challenge.

“Despite the offensive of the military to clean up the bushes in the capital, the axis surrounding the capital are still in the hands of the enemy and they retain the capacity, flexibility and initiative to launch attacks at any place and time of their choice.

“We should never surrender through inaction, limited action or wrong and slow response to the urgent threat confronting our father land. Our response must be deep, broad and all encompassing,” he explained.

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todayAugust 4, 2022

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